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Last week The Third reported that the Cape Breton Regional Police Services (CBRPS) has a new community officer, Constable Gary Fraser. Last week’s paper had a picture of Fraser and Constable James Fitzgerald making sure the Downtown Sydney Halloween event was safe and fun for all the trick-or-treaters.

What The Third didn’t know at the time was that Cst. Fitzgerald also had a new assignment. He is the force’s new downtown beat officer.

Beat policing typically promotes close relationships between police and the community that lives and works within the assigned beat and uses those relationships to strengthen police effectiveness and encourage cooperative efforts.

These new assignments suggest that Chief Robert Walsh of the CBRPS is making some changes within the force. It is no secret that some downtown merchants have been concerned about property damage, thefts, and increased pedestrian traffic on the streets of the Third. So, we reached out for comment about the new roles.

Walsh says that the officers are “working proactively to enhance security, address concerns, and work collaborative with merchants and citizens.”

Safety is an important reason for the increased presence of officers in the downtown core.

“We want to make sure downtown is a safe space for everyone who uses it,” said Walsh. “Officers are proactively working with merchants and citizens to connect people with the resources they need to help create a safe downtown space for everyone.”

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